Guardians of the Galaxyby Dan AbnettAndy Lanning
Chris PrattZoe SaldanaDave BautistaVin DieselBradley CooperMichael RookerKaren GillanPom KlementieffElizabeth DebickiChris SullivanSean GunnSylvester StalloneKurt Russell
Guardians of the Galaxy (film), Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Age of Ultron
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is an upcoming American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team Guardians of the Galaxy, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is intended to be the sequel to 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy and the fifteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film is written and directed by James Gunn and stars an ensemble cast featuring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the Guardians travel throughout the cosmos as they help Peter Quill learn more about his true parentage.
- Pre production
- Post production
- Box office projection
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was officially announced at San Diego Comic-Con International 2014 before the theatrical release of the first film, along with Gunn's involvement once again, with the title of the film revealed a year later in June 2015. The film began Principal photography in February 2016 at Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayette County, Georgia, and concluded in June 2016.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is scheduled to be released on May 5, 2017, in 3D and IMAX 3D.
Set two-to-three months after the first film, the Guardians of the Galaxy travel throughout the cosmos and struggle to keep their new-found family together, while helping Peter Quill learn more about his true parentage.
Additionally, Glenn Close reprises her role as Irani Rael, Supreme Commander of the Nova Corps, known as Nova Prime. Evan Jones, Jimmy Urine, Stephen Blackehart, Steve Agee, Mike Escamilla, Joe Fria, Terence Rosemore, and Tommy Flanagan, portray Wretch, Half-Nut, Brahl, Gef the Ravager, Scrote, Oblo, Narblik, and Tullk respectively, all members of the Ravagers. Stan Lee has a cameo appearance, while Rob Zombie once again has a voice cameo.
In May 2014, The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger talked about the future of Guardians of the Galaxy, saying, "We’re looking forward to introducing the world to more fantastic Marvel storytelling, with a great cast of new characters in Guardians of the Galaxy... We believe it has strong franchise potential." He added, "I'm not going to predict that we've got another Avengers on our hands, but that's certainly the goal." James Gunn, director and co-screenwriter of Guardians of the Galaxy, revealed that, should a sequel film be made, he would like to return, in addition to being contractually obligated to if asked. The next month, producer Kevin Feige added, "should [Guardians of the Galaxy] work, should the audience come out for this one, there are definitely places we can take [the franchise] and we have ideas of where we'd like to go with it," due to the wide array of characters, worlds and story lines from Guardians comics.
In July 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy co-screenwriter Nicole Perlman confirmed a sequel, saying it was "going to happen" due to the positive response, and confirmed that Gunn would write and direct. At San Diego Comic-Con International 2014, the sequel was given a release date of July 28, 2017. A month later, Gunn stated that "there should be at least one more Guardian from the comics" appearing in the film, and revealed that he had already started working on the sequel. In October, Gunn confirmed that all five original Guardians would return, along with other characters from the original film, with the possibility of more team members joining, and the release date was moved up to May 5, 2017. In the following months, Michael Rooker revealed he would return for the sequel as Yondu, stating he was looking forward to exploring new areas of the character and was excited to "expand on the role"; Chris Pratt, who played Peter Quill / Star-Lord in the first film, revealed the sequel would be one of his next projects; and Bradley Cooper expressed interest and excitement when asked if he would return as Rocket for the sequel.
In March 2015, Gunn revealed that filming would take place in Atlanta, Georgia with "major crew changes" from the first film, and that his brother, Sean Gunn, would return as Kraglin alongside Karen Gillan as Nebula. He also explained his working relationship with Marvel saying, "We have a really great relationship where they let me go and do my thing, and I truly listen to their notes and ideas. I've never been told to put in any character or plot element at all... When [Marvel] trust[s] you—and I think I've earned their trust over the past few years—they give you a wide berth... we just fit." Vin Diesel confirmed he would return as Groot, and a month later Gunn confirmed the film would be released in 3D. In May, Gunn said that there are fewer characters in the sequel than in the first film, and that he at one point had two major new characters in the script; talks had begun with an actor Gunn had in mind to fulfill one of the roles, while the other he had decided to remove due to the film "getting too busy", explaining, "one of the main things with Guardians of the Galaxy is not to add a bunch of characters, not to make it bigger in that way but to go deeper with the characters... and getting to know them more emotionally... everything is just getting too sprawling and too crazy for me in these superhero comic book movies. And also in superhero comics in general. There’s just too many characters so you can’t concentrate on one and really get to know that character, and I really want to get to know the characters that we know better." He added that the character he removed could appear in future Guardians films.
After the film's announcement, Gunn said he knew "a lot of where I want to go [in the sequel]. I have a lot of ideas for stories and characters that are going to appear, and there are documents written up." On his approach for the sequel, Gunn said, "I probably won't structure the film in the exact same way [as the first one]. One of the reasons people like Guardians is because it's fresh and different, so the second one will be fresh and different from the first one." Before starting on the script, Gunn said he hoped to further explore Peter Quill's father, Yondu, Drax the Destroyer, Nebula, Kraglin, and the Collector, and expand on Xandarian, Kree, Krylorian, and Ravager culture. He also hoped to introduce more female characters in the sequel, though wanted to avoid including "earthlings" such as Carol Danvers in order to keep Quill the main focus from Earth. Likewise, Gunn also chose not to feature Novas Richard Rider or Sam Alexander in the film, saying, "I don’t want Nova right now because I think Quill being the only earthling is important. That serves the entire movie going audience and not just the handful of Nova [and Carol Danvers] fans."
Feige said exploring Quill's father "would certainly be part of a next Guardians adventure" and would not be addressed in another film before Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, saying "I think it's pretty important. I think there's a reason we seeded it at the very end of the [first] film like that." Gunn also stated that he wanted to make sure "Yondu’s place in everything made sense" in regards to his relationship to Quill and his father, and also revealed Quill's father would not be J'son as in the comics. Gunn also stated he "was less confident [Marvel] was going to buy in on Baby Groot than" including Ego the Living Planet, since "adult Groot was the most popular character from the first film and I didn’t think they’d want to risk a good thing." However, by changing Groot, Gunn felt it "opened the film up" creatively, allowing Gunn to bring out "new aspects of our other characters."
As for Thanos, Gunn said, "He will show up [in the sequel] if he helps our story and he will not show up at all if not. Thanos is not the most important thing in Guardians 2, that's for damn sure. There's the Guardians themselves and other threats the Guardians are going to be facing that are not Thanos." Feige later stated that Thanos would not appear in the sequel, as he was being saved for a "grander" return. On a potential crossover with the Avengers, Gunn said, "We talked about all sorts of possibilities [for a crossover] and I kind of know what the basic plan is. It could always change at any minute ... [the Guardians and the Avengers] do inhabit the same universe and they're pretty big personalities that are likely to, at some point or another, run into each other." When later asked about how the film would connect with the other Phase Three films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Gunn said, "I don't feel beholden to that stuff at all. I think it's really about the Guardians and what they are doing. We're not subservient to the Avengers. Guardians 2 is not a movie that's made to move toward [Avengers: Infinity War]. It's something that's made to move toward future cosmic movies, so I don't feel that that is something that affects me that much." Gunn later stated that the film would not be "so much about the Infinity Stones" or include any Avengers cameos. Feige also indicated that the end of the film and where the team is "will inform future things, but there’s nothing that nods directly towards that."
Gunn set the film two-to-three months after the first film, "because he felt the group are just such fragile egos and he didn’t think this story could start years later." Major planets visited in the film include Sovereign, Berhart and Contraxia. Feige also stated two or three other worlds would be seen, as well as "a little bit of Earth in this film, but it’s not these characters going to Earth."
In December 2014, Gunn revealed the story for the film was written, saying, "It's [still] constantly shifting, but I feel like it's pretty strong. I'm excited about it." By early February 2015, Gunn said that when he first presented his idea for the sequel to Marvel they thought it was "risky", and that he would be submitting a full story treatment to the company "in a few short weeks". He described it as "not really based on anything" from the comics, being mainly an original story. Gunn later referred to this treatment as a "scriptment", "a 70-page combination of a script and a treatment and it goes through every beat of the movie". By April, he was preparing to write the screenplay, and in May Gunn he was hoping to complete the script before he began work on The Belko Experiment in June 2015.
On June 2, 2015, Gunn announced on social media that he completed the first draft of the screenplay, and revealed that the film's title would not simply be Guardians of the Galaxy 2. The same week, he confirmed the returns of Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, and Cooper as Gamora, Drax, and Rocket, respectively. At the end of the month, Gunn announced the film's title as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, on which he said that he "came up with a LOT of titles for Vol. 2. But because 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is already so wordy, it seemed strange to add another bunch of words after it. I liked Vol. 2 the best, so that's what I stuck on the cover of the screenplay—and, fortunately, [Marvel] liked it."
In September 2015, Gunn said in a Facebook post that he wanted to use Sneepers, an alien race that first appeared in Marvel Comics in 1964, as background characters in the film but was advised against it by Marvel's legal department because the name was too similar to snípur, the Icelandic word for clitoris. The Marvel legal department later cleared the use of Sneepers in the film, in part because of all the media coverage Gunn's initial post received. At the end of the month, Feige stated casting announcements would be made "over the next few months before the end of the year", and by the end of October Pom Klementieff was cast as Mantis. Also, Matthew McConaughey had been offered the role of the film's antagonist, but had passed on it in favor of working on The Dark Tower, feeling he would have been "an amendment" in Vol. 2 in "a colorful part [made] for another big-name actor."
In December 2015, Gunn said that he was corresponding with John C. Reilly about him reprising his role as Nova Corpsman Rhomann Dey, while Kurt Russell entered early talks to play Quill's father. After the death of David Bowie, Gunn announced that he had completed the final draft of the script, and that there had been discussions for Bowie to make a cameo appearance in the film. Additionally, Benicio del Toro, who portrayed Taneleer Tivan / The Collector in the first film, said that he had not heard from Marvel about returning for Vol. 2, but was interested in portraying the character again at some other point. Gunn explained that the Collector "just didn’t fit" into Vol. 2. In early February, comedian Steve Agee was revealed to be in the film.
Prop master Russell Bobbitt had difficulty finding the cassette decks used in the first film and all of the Sony Walkman headsets they found were broken. Bobbitt contacted Sony to see if they had any available for filming, which they did not, eventually creating six from scratch after finding three pairs on eBay going for around $1,800 that were also not the exact model. Additional props created for the film included two sets of blasters for Quill, with removable blaster cartridges, and "steampunk-looking weapons and belts", for the Ravagers.
Pre-shooting began on February 11, 2016, at Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayette County, Georgia, under the working title Level Up, with Henry Braham serving as cinematographer and Scott Chambliss as production designer. Gunn noted that many of the crew from the first film, such as cinematographer Ben Davis and production designer Charles Wood, signed on to work on Doctor Strange, and due to a late change in production schedule to a November 2015 start, were unable to work on Vol. 2. The film was the first to be shot with an 8K resolution camera, the Red Weapon 8K. Additional scenes were also shot in IMAX and its aspect ratio.
Principal photography began on February 17. Marvel confirmed that Russell had joined the cast in an undisclosed role, and revealed that Elizabeth Debicki and Chris Sullivan had also been cast in undisclosed roles. Additionally, Gunn confirmed that Glenn Close would reprise her role of Nova Prime Irani Rael from the first film. In April, Gunn revealed that Reilly would not be part of the film, and stated that there were many other characters he could not include in the film due to rights issues, saying that 20th Century Fox "owns so many awesome cosmic villains and minor characters that I'd love to play around with" such as Annihilus and Kang the Conqueror. Additional filming took place in Cartersville, Georgia. The Georgia International Convention Center served as additional soundstage space for the film, after pre-production work for Spider-Man: Homecoming began occupying remaining soundstages at Pinewood Atlanta, where it also filmed. Principal photography wrapped on June 16, 2016.
At San Diego Comic-Con 2016, Russell and Debicki were revealed to be playing Ego, Quill's father, and Ayesha, respectively. Sylvester Stallone was also revealed to be in the film. Gunn also introduced multiple actors who were playing Ravager characters, since the Ravagers have a larger presence in the film. On the decision to reveal Russell as Ego and Quill's father when he did, Gunn felt that since "people were going to figure it out eventually... it was better that we took the reins in our own hands" and make the reveal. Gunn also felt that by making the reveal, "it sends a real important message [that] this movie isn't about, 'Oh my god, you've gotta go and find out who Peter Quill's dad is!' It really is about the story and the relationship that these characters have... and the emotions that transpire between Peter Quill, his adoptive father Yondu, and his real father Ego". In August 2016, Gunn confirmed the film would feature a post-credits scene. In November, Gillan revealed that the film was undergoing reshoots.
In January 2017, Gunn stated that the mid- and post-credits scenes for the film were written and directed by him. The following month, it was reported that the film had scored a perfect 100 in test screenings, the highest for any Marvel Studios film. The Hollywood Reporter noted, however, that although all film studios conduct test screening, generally from a random pool of people, Marvel selects its audience "from a more select pool of recruits, what it terms 'friends and families screenings'... [And] because the Marvel testing process is not as random as other studio procedures, the 100 score for Guardians 2 is not necessarily able to be compared to other non-Marvel movies." Producers and studio executives also "caution at putting too much meaning into test scores, pointing out the scores are best at gauging where audiences engage or disengage," and may not reflect the ultimate reception from critics' reviews and a wider audience, and its box office gross.
Fred Raskin and Craig Wood return from the first film to serve as editors. Visual effects for the film were created by Framestore, Weta Digital, Trixter, Method Studios, Animal Logic, Scanline VFX, Lola, Luma, and Cantina Creative, with Framestore returning from the first film to once again create Rocket.
By August 2014, Gunn had "some ideas listed, but nothing for sure" in terms of songs to include in Quill's Awesome Mix Vol. 2 mixtape. In April 2015, Gunn said he felt "a little pressure for the soundtrack because so many people loved [the first film's soundtrack] and we went platinum and all that other stuff. But I feel like the soundtrack in the second one is better." In June 2015, Gunn stated that all of the songs for Awesome Mix Vol. 2 had been chosen and built into the script. In January 2016, Gunn stated that he had chosen an additional Bowie song to appear in the film (after "Moonage Daydream" was featured in the first film) but had cut the original scene it was featured in. The inclusion would have made Bowie the only artist to be featured on both mixtapes. With his death however, Gunn hoped to find a way to include the chosen song somewhere else in the film as a "fair and appropriate" way to honor him, as Bowie was one of Gunn's idols. Gunn called the Awesome Mix Vol. 2 "more diverse" than the first one, with "some really incredibly famous songs and then some songs that people have never heard." Sweet's "Fox on the Run", George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord", Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain", Jay and the Americans' "Come a Little Bit Closer", and Bowie's "Suffragette City", are some of the songs Gunn is considering for inclusion on the Awesome Mix Vol. 2.
Tyler Bates had returned to score the film by August 2015. As with Guardians of the Galaxy, Bates wrote some of the score first so that Gunn could film to the music, as opposed to Bates scoring to the film. Recording for the score began in January 2017 at Abbey Road Studios.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is scheduled to be released in the United Kingdom and Ireland on April 28, 2017, and in North America on May 5, 2017, in 3D and IMAX 3D. It was originally intended to be released on July 28, 2017.
In June 2016, Marvel announced plans for an expanded merchandising program for the film, being "broader" than the one for the first film, with Groot playing a central role along with appealing to kids and male and female fans beyond collectors. Paul Gitter, senior VP of licensing for Marvel at Disney Consumer Products said that they intend to build Guardians of the Galaxy into a tentpole franchise, stating, "As affinity and awareness for the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise and its characters continues to grow by leaps and bounds, we are building out a much larger merchandising program to meet the increasing demand from fans." Partners in the campaign include Hasbro, Lego, Funko, and LB Kids. Gunn also made sure the female characters of the film received more representation in the merchandise than in the first. In July 2016, Gunn, Pratt and other members of the cast attended San Diego Comic-Con to promote the film, including showing footage and revealing additional character information.
On October 19, 2016, a "sneak peak" teaser was released ahead of the first full teaser trailer. Ethan Anderton of /Film felt the teaser was strong, despite not showing any of the new characters or relying on Baby Groot, while The A.V. Club's Esther Zuckerman called it "an immediate crowd-pleaser". According to media-measurement firm comScore and its PreAct service, the teaser was the top trailer for the week it released, generating 108,000 new social media conversations. In early December 2016, before Gunn revealed the first teaser trailer at Comic Con Experience 2016 and it debuted during the 2016 ACC Championship Game, Gunn spoke on crafting the teaser, calling it difficult because the film is "such an emotional and physical journey, going to all these different places" that finding scenes and moments to showcase without revealing too much resulted in hard choices, since "people really go through every single little shot and try to figure out what the movie's about. And there's a lot of mysteries in Guardians 2." Describing the teaser trailer, Jacob Hall of /Film felt, "It’s telling that this trailer can get away without actually selling the plot of the movie. Audiences didn’t fall in love with the first Guardians of the Galaxy because they were entranced by yet another Marvel Studios movie built around a villain who gets his hands on an Infinity Stone. They fell for Chris Pratt‘s cocksure Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana‘s determined Gamora, Dave Bautista‘s bombastic Drax, Bradley Cooper‘s bitter Rocket, and Vin Diesel‘s adorably weird Groot. In fact, the bulk of this trailer is dedicated to this group bouncing off one another, which is the real star attraction. Whatever villainous plot they have to face is secondary to Drax laughing himself silly at the expense of Star-Lord having an unfortunate psychic encounter." The teaser trailer was centered around the use of Sweet's song "Fox on the Run", much like the early trailers for the first film with Blue Swede's "Hooked on a Feeling", which Aaron Couch of The Hollywood Reporter felt was "the first hint of what's in store for the Awesome Mix Vol. 2". The teaser trailer had 81 million views in 24 hours, becoming the second-most viewed teaser behind Beauty and the Beast and largest Marvel Studios teaser ever. Additionally, "Fox on the Run" reached number one on the iTunes Rock Chart.
A second trailer aired during Super Bowl LI. Germain Lussier for io9 called the trailer "hilarious" and noted that Rocket and Groot talking to Yondu was "the highlight". Anderton also commented on the second trailer, saying, it was "one hell of a... Super Bowl spot, one that probably overshadows the game itself for people like me who don't really have an investment in the outcome [of the game] one way or the other. There's plenty of badass cosmic action, the humor we all love, a stellar soundtrack, and some great new footage from the sequel." The spot generated the most Twitter conversation volume during the game with 47,800 conversations, according to comScore and its PreAct service. The service which "measures data from Twitter volume using official hashtags from a pic’s trailer as well as other keywords intended to isolate the conversation about the film," measured the volume of trailers that aired during the game from the time it aired through the end of the game, and was limited to conversations in the United States and Canada. The film also topped a Fandango survey as fans' favorite film trailer during the Super Bowl. An additional trailer debuted on February 28, 2017, on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. Haleigh Foutch at Collider.com felt the trailer added to the "hype" for the film and was "just an all-around wonderful trailer, lit up with the wacky humor and irreverent charm that made the first film such a hit, with an extra dose of visual splendor."
Box office projection
In March 2017, BoxOffice projected an opening weekend gross of $160 million in the United States for the film, as well as a $400 million total domestic gross.
In November 2014, Gunn stated that, in addition to having the "basic story" for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 while working on the first film, he also had ideas for a potential third film. Despite this, Gunn stated in June 2015 that he was unsure if he would be involved with a third Guardians film, saying that it would depend on how he felt after making Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. In April 2016, Feige said on future MCU films, "it is still a big chess board for 2020 and beyond, but certainly I would say Guardians 3 is [one film that’s] up there. I don’t know what exactly the order will be." In December 2016, Vin Diesel said that Gunn had interest in making a film centered on Groot and Rocket.